I am writing this post as of Tue 2/16
My group, (Kathryn and I) have completed the mapping and as of today, the timeline. We decided to pursue famous surfer and lifeguard from the early 20th century George Freeth. He turned out to be quite the interesting character after single handedly saving between 7-11 Japanese fishermen during a storm. He also brough surf culture to California so without him, Southern California might be very different than it is today.
We began by researching his background and creating a simple list of his achievements including his birth, rescuing the fishermen, helping open the Redondo Plunge, initiated volunteer lifeguard services, establishment of a memorial to his services on Redondo Beach Pier. Then listed them chronologically into an excel spreadsheet while trying to find usable pictures and visuals. It was difficult due to the time-gap and lack of technology and interest in documenting surfers at that time. We finished the mapping individually at home.
Today, we created a TimelineJS map off Google and input a revised spreadsheet with more accurate data including actual day of the week and time of the day. After adding a few more achievements to extend the timeline we generated a legitimate digital timeline that shows the “accurate” life story of George Freeth. I was happy to finish the project and view the slideshow and acknowledge that this can be displayed publicly to help others learn more if they too decide to research the origins of surfing in California.
Many conclusions can be drawn from our map and timeline such as the fact that surfing in California did not exist before George Freeth arrived from Hawaii, bringing his culture with him therefore California has a similar surf culture juxtaposed to Hawaiin surf culture. Furthermore lifeguard service would not be the same without George Freeth since he helped kickstart many volunteer programs such as the Venice Volunteer Life Saving Service Corps in 1908-09.
Looking back I feel our group could try and create a more advanced map that might help reveal even more context about Freeth. The TimelineJS map was pretty simpl to create and is useful in showing how surf culture would not be the same in California without Freeth.